“From my perspective, there are a lot of things that make Jefferson City life special.”

Lieutenant Dave Williams

Nearly 30 years ago, I started living in Jefferson City. Times have certainly changed as it relates to shopping, dining, and places to enjoy life. In the ’90s, we had places like Mo and Waldo’s on Dunklin Street for food and drinks, and shopping at places like Montgomery Ward on Missouri Boulevard and Sears at the mall. When we needed something to work on my house, we shopped at places like Tharp’s Lumber, on Southridge Drive, and Scruggs Lumber, on Christy Drive, because there was no Lowe’s or Menards. Today, I recognize that only Scruggs Lumber is still going strong from that group.

Downtown Shopping
When I think about shopping in Jefferson City for someone new to the area, I truly find that you are better served by shopping local. There have been some changes around town with a lot of new businesses popping up, like Ross and TJ Maxx. However, depending on the need, you can find everything on High Street downtown at places like Samuel’s Tuxedo and Gifts or Carrie’s Hallmark. Both have remarkable employees willing to help. I can genuinely say that I enjoyed visiting both places for gifts when I first moved to town.

A Place for Every Palate 
To single out one particular place to eat for a new resident of Jefferson City is absolutely too hard. I have solid breakfast choices like Coffee Zone, Towne Grill, or even the grocery stores like Schulte’s or Hy-Vee. If we want to incorporate lunch and dinner together, I have a list for every palate. Visitors and new residents should stop at Theo’s Midtown, Arris’ Pizza, Prison Brews, ECCO Lounge, or the original El Jimador for a variety of local cuisine. For true evening dining, there is Alexandro’s Restaurant, Domenico’s Restaurant, or Madison’s Café.

Cruising the Backroads
From my perspective, there are a lot of things that make Jefferson City life special. It definitely helps to have a hobby — for me, it’s riding motorcycles. There are several rides that allow you to see the Central Missouri backroads. If you prefer the other bike rides, the city’s Greenway Trail system allows for time outdoors.

I have lived in Jefferson CIty more than half my life. But when I started thinking about the suggestions I would have for this article, I realized that even after 30 years, I am still a Jefferson City transplant.

Lieutenant Dave Williams has been a transplant nearly his whole life. Having lived all over the Midwest, he moved to Jefferson City in 1992 after attending the Law Enforcement Training Institute in Columbia. Being no stranger to exploring a new city, Dave is an expert at trying new places and helping others with his recommendations.